Businesses will have to decide whether to ban concealed weapons on their premises at the risk of alienating gun-supporting customers. -- AP story on Gov. Scott Walker's plans to sign a concealed carry bill into law this week.

If people organize, that's entirely backwards. Business owners should worry more about losing the business of people who won't patronize them if they think other customers are armed.

Most people in Wisconsin say they will feel less safe with more guns on the street.  In a May survey done for the Wisconsin Anti-Violence Effort, respondents said nearly by a 3 to 1 margin,  60% to 21%, that they will feel less safe, not safer, with the new law.

Just suppose, for a moment, that people in communities across the state were to band together and let businesses know they won't spend money with them unless they see a "No Guns Allowed" sign on the door.

It would take some organizing -- perhaps a campaign to collect signatures of people to pledge they won't shop or do business with places that allow guns on the premises.   Our household would gladly sign one.

Once they've collected enough signatures, the organizers could call on local businesses, explain that they represent x number of people who have signed the pledge, and survey the business about whether they'll allow guns or not.

Then the group could publish and distribute a list of gun-free businesses in the community and encourage people to patronize them.

Those aren't exactly revolutionary tactics.  They aren't even up to Saul Alinsky standards.  But they could be efffective.  And the time to do it is now, while businesses are still considering how they'll respond to the law.

They should be far more worried about losing trade from the vast silent majority of Wisconsin residents than about "alienating gun-supporting customers."

But without some organized action, they'll be falling all over themselves to keep those NRA shoppers happy.

The legislature saved in to a vocal gun-toting minority.  But there's no reason we all have to follow suit.  

Submitted by xoff on